Players of The Pine Belt: Jefferson Davis County QB Eli Viniard

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 10:51 PM CDT
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BASSFIELD, Miss. (WDAM) - Jefferson Davis County High School head coach Lance Mancuso knows that if his team wants to get back to the top, they’ll need their quarterback Eli Viniard to set the tone.

“Him being the quarterback means a lot,” said Mancuso. “That means that they have confidence every day that they step into the huddle, and if things aren’t going very well, he can get them to refocus and regather themselves.”

The senior QB suffered a minor setback with a shoulder injury going into this summer.

Viniard used his injury as nightmare fuel to get him back to where he wanted to be.

“I had to have surgery on it, but I was lucky enough not to do rehab,” Viniard said.

“I was definetly upset at first, but it started to get a lot better. I kept watching videos and watching old films to keep myself happy.”

The Jaguars are licking their wounds from a second-round loss in the playoffs last season.

Two seasons removed from winning a state championship, Viniard wants to get back to the mountaintop.

He knows it won’t be easy.

For his last two seasons at quarterback, he’s seen firsthand that the Jaguars have had a target on their backs.

“Getting beat in the 2nd round of the playoffs really lit a fire into us going into this season,” said Viniard.

“We got a bunch of seniors returning on offense and on defense. We’re very experienced and I think we’ll give it a good run.”

Jefferson Davis will begin their hunt for a state championship on Aug. 25, when they head on the road to face Poplarville High School.

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